ChatGPT in the ESL Classroom: A Qualitative Exploration of Teachers’ Reflections on Practical Applications, Outcomes, and Future Implications (75542)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 7 (Asia/Bangkok)

As interest rapidly grows in integrating AI tools like ChatGPT into education, perspectives remain limited from ESL teachers with practical first-hand experience implementing ChatGPT across skills in their classrooms. Thus, this paper explores ESL teachers' experiences and perspectives integrating ChatGPT into their classrooms across core language skills like listening, speaking, reading and writing. This study employs a qualitative case study methodology to provide critical insights directly from ESL teachers in a public university in Malaysia who have used ChatGPT with students. Twelve teacher participants with more than five years of experience teaching English in higher education were chosen. They were all well-versed in the use of technology. Data was gathered from classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, reflective journals, lesson plans and materials. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data. The teachers tested ChatGPT by integrating it into their lessons through various applications to support developing overall English proficiency. Reflecting on their hands-on experiences, they provided perspectives on ChatGPT’s potential strengths in capabilities like quickly providing customised feedback and risks like overreliance and limitations in handling complex language. Findings revealed key considerations around strategically guiding ChatGPT as a supplemental aid alongside quality human instruction. For listening and speaking skills, conversations were beneficial yet lacked authentic variability. For reading, summarisation capabilities supported comprehension but were limited in responding to inference or critical thinking questions about texts. For writing, ChatGPT supported drafting, but overreliance on it can risk minimising students’ development of critical writing skills. The study contributes critical implications for how ESL teachers can thoughtfully leverage AI like ChatGPT to enhance instruction across skills through strategic integration while mitigating risks like overreliance by approaching it as a supplemental tool and addressing bias through guided use. Overall, mindful ChatGPT integration by skilled teachers can support ESL students in developing English proficiency when its limitations are mitigated through selective, reflective use alongside quality teaching.

Abstract Summary
This qualitative case study explores ESL teachers’ first-hand experiences and perspectives on integrating ChatGPT into classrooms to support developing English proficiency across core language skills. Twelve (12) ESL teachers in a Malaysian public university with over five years of experience and adept at using technology tested ChatGPT by implementing it in lessons using various applications. Data gathered through interviews, journals, observations and materials was thematically analysed. Teachers reflected on ChatGPT's potential benefits like customised feedback and risks of overreliance and limitations in handling complex tasks. Findings revealed considerations for strategic integration, like using ChatGPT as a supplemental aid alongside quality teaching. While conversations helped listening/speaking, ChatGPT struggled with variability. It supported reading comprehension but not inference. For writing, it aided drafting, but overreliance could hinder critical skills. The study provides implications for thoughtfully leveraging ChatGPT to enhance ESL instruction through guided, reflective use while mitigating risks.

Amreet Kaur Jageer Singh, Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia

About the Presenter(s)
Amreet Kaur Jageer Singh (PhD) is an English language teacher at the Centre for Language Competencies, UPSI, Malaysia. Her research interests include ELT, CALL, digital pedagogy, innovative educational practices and flipped learning.

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